An ex-con is murdered in Yellowstone National Park while a bank robber's son is searching for the loot his father hid there 20 years before.
Running Time: 63 Minutes
MPAA Ratings: Approved
Do you remember when the Brady Bunch went to Hawaii, or Knott's Berry Farm? Or how about every sitcom family's trips to one of the Disney theme parks? The episodes were never very funny compared to the rest of the studio bound series, and mostly served as an infomercial for the location visited. I believe "Yellowstone" may have started the trend way back in 1936.
The pornographic sounding Dick Sherwood (Henry Hunter) is a park ranger at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. He meets up with Ruth (Judith Barrett, a dead ringer for Fay Wray), a young woman staying at the park's luxurious hotel and waiting for the father she hasn't seen in eighteen years. Dick immediately starts putting the moves on Ruth, playing cute and annoyingly quoting out of his ranger manual. Ruth's dad, James (Ralph Morgan), arrives and is briefly reunited with his daughter before-dun-dun-DUN!- murder!
James' body is found after it gets blown out of a geyser (stop giggling), and the park is locked down as the large cast of suspects is interrogated by private detective Hardigan (a miscast Alan Hale, real life father of the Skipper on "Gilligan's Island"). Since the film is barely an hour, the climax comes quickly, with a hard-to-believe explanation.
Also hard to believe is some of the completely annoying supporting cast. Andy Devine volunteers little comic relief as Pay-Day, who wants to be a full-time park ranger. Raymond Hatton is along as Old Pete, who has tall tales to bore the cast and viewer with. Between these two and the stereotypical Chinese chef and Native American guy, you will be cringing often.
The scenery is gorgeous, it would be interesting to compare the locations on film to how they look today, over seventy years later. While four writers have their names on this fluff, possibly explaining the bizarre shifts in tone, director Lubin keeps things clicking along. Too bad about the two songs here, both impossible to comprehend and enjoy.
Yellowstone National Park ranger Henry Hunter (as Dick Sherwood)'s head is turned by pretty Chicago tourist Judith Barrett (as Ruth Foster). After the two get romantic, her ex-con father is murdered. Then, suspicious-looking visitor Alan Hale (as Hardigan) reveals he's a private detective;so, he investigates the death of Ms. Barrett's dad, Ralph Morgan (as James Foster). When Mr. Hunter becomes the prime suspect, his romance with the deceased's daughter understandably sours. Hunter insist he didn't kill Barrett's father, and begins his own investigation. Andy Devine (as "Pay-Day") and his mule Gertrude provide comic relief. Monroe Owsley leads an enjoyable supporting cast.
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